I didn't spend much time at Yellowstone, even though it was great. The snow was just coming down at the upper elevations, and some of the recently burned patches looked ethereal and just darn cool. I hiked out to Fairy Falls, which was pretty, but there were no real fairies. Pooh. I kept thinking about some story book I had when I was a kid, about a little animal that gets stuck in white waters, and there're nasty sprites all around, and then he goes over the waterfall and the waterfall fairies save him, but he can't go back, because the nasty sprites are in the way... Ring a bell anyone? I can't even remember what type of animal he was.
Anyway, it was pretty, but I think a little misnamed. I saw no grizzlies, for which I am very sad. But seeing the way the tourists respond to wildlife there, I lose a little of my regret. There was a backup of about 20 cars (that's a lot, trust me) and people were wandering in the middle of the road, leaving their cars everywhere, in order to photograph an elk. One little elk, who happened to wander too near the road. I mean, there were whole fields of elk everywhere. On my hike, I came to within about 10 feet of a bison. What made people this crazy about that particular elk? Maybe it was magic. Maybe I really missed out by not abandoning my car in the middle of the road to run off after it.
Yellowstone is the only place I've been to so far that was really touristy, and, if you can't tell, I didn't like that part so much. I was hoping since I was off-season, it wouldn't be too bad, but...
Oh, and then there was Old Faithful. I made my butt numb waiting for him to do his thing. Then he did, and whoa, was that exciting. Really. I guess when I think about it, it is a very interesting thing. Hot mineral springs and pressure and natural oddities. But I can think about it at home. And all there was to see was a big cloud of steam. Hey, y'all, think I can sell tickets to my baths as an alternative? You don't have to travel all the way to Wyoming, just give Bethany $5 and she'll show you some steam.
Now I am in Cody Wyoming, a place I had to come to as I had been hearing about it for years from my friend Marqui, and her mom Pam. When SF was at the peak of it's rent prices, I would compare a 2 story house with a stable and 3 bathrooms to a studio apartment in the city. It was sad.
The landscape is beautiful - sculpted red rocks, wide wandering rivers, and deep gullys, not to mention enticing looking cave thingies in the hills. Really wanted to climb up there with a flashlight. And maybe some bear spray. Okay, maybe it's not a good idea.
Today I spent all day at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Historical Center. The section actually on Bill was the greatest. Old posters, pictures, clothing, pieces of his act. They had the Deadwood Stagecoach, which he used for hold-up reenactments. He used to put audience members in the stage, then drive them around the arena until the Injuns would come out and attack. My imagination went wild there.
There were also not one, but two exhibits (they call them separate museums, as they are so large) dedicated to guns. The permanent Cody Gun Museum had a whole section sponsored by Coors. Ahh, guns and beer. The perfect combo. Then there was a traveling exhibit featuring every gun ever made by Colt. It
was in there that I saw the gun-safety video starring Jason Priestley and Eric the Eagle. They rapped together. "What do you do when you see a gun? Stop! Put it down! Leave the area! Tell an adult! One more time..."
Meanwhile, upstairs in the gun exhibition hall, I shadowed a family. The boy was very exuberant. "You know what I want? I want that gun, right there. That gun's cool". To which the boy's father replied, "Yeah, that's pretty cool. In a few years you might be able to handle that. But here, look at this one. It's kind of like your .22, you could handle the kick from that one". I was really tempted to follow them all through the hall.
Well, I think I will go see a movie now, the library is closing. And then, it's another night at Wal-Mart, as I spent way too much money at the museum. Managed to sneak in as a student, but then I bought a journal of one of the artists that I really liked. So it's beans and parking lots tonight.